Bai Tu Long National Park in the northern province of Quang Ninh has been recognized as the 38th Heritage Park of ASEAN.
The park meets six criteria of ecological intact, representative nature, high preservative manner, management planning, preservation and legal protection.
Established in 2001, it is part of Bai Tu Long Bay, a lesser-known neighbor of Ha Long Bay.
It comprises over 80 islands of different sizes and is home to more than 2,200 species, 108 of which are in Vietnam’s Red Book of Endangered Species.
The ASEAN Heritage Park Program was developed by the ASEAN Working Group on natural preservation and biodiversity in 2002. ASEAN is formally known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a regional bloc with 10 members.
Before Bai Tu Long, six of Vietnam’s national parks have been honored as ASEAN’s heritage. They are Ba Be and Hoang Lien parks in the north, Kon Ka Kinh and Chu Mom Ray in the Central Highlands, and U Minh Thuong in the Mekong Delta.
According to U.K.-based travel publisher Rough Guides, Bai Tu Long Bay promises you views that are not less breathtaking than what you would find in Ha Long Bay.
To visit the bay, you can buy ticket and hire boat from Tuan Chau Wharf, the only tourist wharf in Ha Long Bay.